As humans we are constantly engaging not only with other humans but with plants, animals, and matter. This article examines the way we view our engagement with the materiality of the world around us, by looking at the work of philosopher Jane Bennet on vibrant materiality and author Tove Jansson. Bennet presents an argument that matter can be analysed as active and vibrant. While Western philosophers are used to viewing matter as passive and dead, seeing it as active makes space for different engagement with matter. One of the ways we can start engaging with matter, once we stop thinking of it as passive and dead, is through the lens of ethics. Jansson in her children’s book Moominpappa at Sea shows a possibility for looking at the material world through this ethical lens. This article will put these works in conversation by reading both as philosophical works that have nuanced engagement with the topic of how we can be in community with the things that surround us. Jansson’s work provides a helpful addition to Vibrant Matter by showing how we are inextricably entangled in harm, and providing a possible way to live with this reality.
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 6 Jul 2021|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
- new materialism; moomins; complicity; ethics; vibrant matter